Watch the video:
0:00 - Intro 0:57 - Remapping on Gaming keyboards 1:14 - Remapping keys without Gaming software 1:35 - Common issues 1:54 - Downloading SharpKeys 2:23 - Using SharpKeys 2:46 - Remapping a key 3:45 - Undo key rebind 3:59 - Testing rebound key
If you’re someone like me who recently had to send your keyboard in for warranty repair and are now using a spare membrane keyboard, you may have run into the issue of an annoying key placement. In my case, there’s a backslash between the alt and spacebar keys, which makes it difficult to use the alt key while editing or playing certain games. Instead of hitting the alt key, I usually hit the backslash by accident, causing issues in my editing software. So, how do we go about remapping a key on a keyboard that isn’t programmable?
Well, usually, gaming keyboards from companies like Corsair and Razer have software that allows you to do this. However, for those of us using a normal, cheap membrane keyboard without any software, we can still remap keys using an open-source software called SharpKeys.
It allows you to remap keys on the registry level of Windows, and even has a drop-down menu to help with certain questions you may come across. To use the software, simply download it, install it, and follow the instructions.
There are many different keyboard layouts that are used around the world, each with their own unique arrangement of keys and characters. Some of the most common keyboard layouts include:
QWERTY: This is the most widely used keyboard layout in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is named after the first six letters of the top row of letters on the keyboard.
AZERTY: This is a keyboard layout that is used primarily in France and Belgium. It is similar to the QWERTY layout, but with some key placements rearranged.
QWERTZ: This is a keyboard layout that is used primarily in Germany and Austria. It is similar to the QWERTY layout, but with the “Y” and “Z” keys switched.
Dvorak Simplified Keyboard: This is an alternative keyboard layout that is designed to be more efficient and easier to use than the QWERTY layout. It was developed by Dr. August Dvorak in the 1930s.
Colemak: This is another alternative keyboard layout that was designed to be more ergonomic and efficient than the QWERTY layout. It is similar to the Dvorak layout, but with some key placements rearranged.
These are just a few examples of the many keyboard layouts that exist. Each layout may have its own specific characteristics and may be suitable for different languages or typing styles. Some people may find that certain layouts are easier to use than others, depending on their individual preferences and typing habits.
Downloading and installing SharpKeys
- Head to the GitHub page https://github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys/.
- On the right-hand side of the page, you’ll see a “Releases” section. Click on it.
- The top release on the list should have “latest release” next to it. Click on it.
- You’ll see two options for downloading the software: an MSI installer or a ZIP package. Choose the one that suits your needs. If you’re unsure, the MSI installer is the recommended option as it will install SharpKeys on your computer. The ZIP package is a portable version that you can use on a USB drive.
- Once the download is complete, double-click the installer file to begin the installation process.
- Follow the prompts to choose a location for the software, and click “Next” to continue.
- The installer will then install SharpKeys on your computer. When prompted for admin rights, click “Yes.”
- Once the installation is complete, click “Close” to finish the process.
- You can then find SharpKeys in the start menu, under the “Recently added” section, and open it to start remapping your keys.
Once you have it open, you can click “add” and choose a key on the left to remap to a key on the right. The software also has an option to “type key” which makes it easy to select the key you want to remap.
In my case, I used SharpKeys to remap the backslash key to the alt key. This way, I can use the alt key comfortably without having to awkwardly position my thumb. Keep in mind that you’ll be using SharpKeys at your own risk, but it’s a quick and easy solution for remapping keys on a non-programmable keyboard.